Donald Trump Jr 'did not tell father' about Russian lawyer meeting

The president's son said he would have done things differently

Donald Trump Jr 'did not tell father' about Russian lawyer meeting

Donald Trump, Jr is seen in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York | Image: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images

Donald Trump Junior has insisted he did not tell his father about meeting a Russian lawyer in the hope of unearthing compromising information on Hillary Clinton.

The US president's eldest son has told Fox News that his discussion with Natalia Veselnitskaya during last year's election was "literally just a wasted 20 minutes".

When asked by Sean Hannity whether he had briefed his father, Mr Trump Jr said: "No. It was just a nothing. There was nothing to tell."

However, the 39-year-old conceded: "In retrospect I probably would have done things a little differently.

"For me this was opposition research, they had something, you know, maybe concrete evidence to all the stories I'd been hearing about. So I think I wanted to hear it out. But it really went nowhere."

Mr Trump Jr's meeting was arranged in June 2016 after he received an offer of "very high level and sensitive information" about Mrs Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.

In e-mails released by Mr Trump Jr himself, the intermediary describes the offer of information as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr Trump".

"Frustrated" about Russia 

After screenshots of the communication were uploaded on Twitter, the president lauded his son as a "high-quality person" and praised his "transparency".

The White House has branded talk of perjury and treason over alleged links to Moscow as "ridiculous", adding the president is "frustrated" Russia continues to be an issue and would love to move on.

In reply to the offer of "ultra sensitive" information on Mrs Clinton, Mr Trump Jr had said: "If it's what you say I love it."

During Tuesday night's Fox News interview, Mr Trump Jr appeared to suggest it was a "shame" that the meeting amounted to nothing.

The talks had also been attended by the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chief at the time.

Alleged links between the Trump campaign and Russia - along with Moscow's possible meddling in the US election - are currently the focus of a number of inquiries, including a probe by special counsel Robert Mueller, an ex-FBI chief.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said the e-mails show the Trump campaign "sought to collude with a hostile foreign power to subvert America's democracy", although Republicans played down the revelations.

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, called on Mr Trump Jr to hand over all documents related to contact with Russia.

Mr Trump Jr is also facing calls to appear before a congressional committee.

Earlier on Tuesday, Ms Veselnitskaya claimed she "never had compromising information" on Mrs Clinton and "could not have had".

She told reporters it is "not true" she had information and Mr Trump Jr "was told so".